Trump claims vindication from controversial memo, critics label it a dud

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Gowdy's comments came two days after the release of a memo that he wrote along with House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) and two investigators that alleged Department of Justice abuses in its surveillance of Page. Their (sic) was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead).

But Republicans say the memo raises serious questions.

White House spokesman Raj Shah took a more measured approach, saying consideration of a release would "allow for a legal review, national security review led by the White House counsel's office".

The Steele dossier alleges that Page met senior Russian officials as an emissary of the Trump campaign and discussed quid-pro-quo deals relating to sanctions, business opportunities and Russia's interference in the election.

Without the underlying materials being made public, the memo only further intensified a partisan battle over how to interpret the actions of the FBI and Justice Department during the early stages of the counterintelligence investigation Mueller later inherited.

The dispute, an extraordinary breach between the White House and law enforcement, has also deepened partisan rancor over congressional investigations of Russian Federation and the 2016 US election, prompting concern about lawmakers' ability to produce unbiased reports.

Democrats contend the four-page memo mischaracterizes highly sensitive classified information and was meant to undermine the Mueller criminal probe that was launched in May 2017 as an outgrowth of an earlier FBI investigation.

Their allies also have prepared other memoranda of their own; House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., released a memo that he said makes the case while stopping short of the classified aspects of the matter. They said the Federal Bureau of Investigation sought the warrant based on evidence of multiple contacts between the Trump aide, Carter Page, and the Russians.

On Sunday, FBI Director Christopher Wray went to the Capitol on Sunday to view the four-page memo, sources told Fox News. The memo was made public after a week of intense debate in Washington.

On Saturday, Nadler circulated a memo to House Democrats disputing the conclusions of the Nunes memo and arguing that Page was a lawful target of surveillance, according to NBC News.

Trump tweeted Saturday from Florida, where he was spending the weekend, that the memo puts him in the clear.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Nancy Pelosi, and eight other Democrats issued a statement claiming that the memo was an attempt to sabotage the investigation into Russia's interference in the U.S. elections.

Democrats said the four-page memo mischaracterises highly sensitive classified information and was meant to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's criminal probe into the Russian Federation matter launched in May 2017 that grew out of an earlier FBI investigation.

Republican Representatives Will Hurd, Brad Wenstrup and Chris Stewart, all of whom sit on the House Intelligence Committee, agreed with Gowdy that the Republican memo should have no impact on Mueller's investigation.

"We should proceed so we do not face this situation again, whether Democrat or Republican".

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